Our critics weigh in on local theatre

"I Wanna Be a Republican": The winsomely ornery cross-dressing "beautyshop quartet" turns its attention to politics, with a mock GOP fundraiser, 8 p.m. Friday, July 9, $20-$32. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.

"A Midsummer Night's Madness": Proceeds from the variety show, which features performances from Auntie Drew, Christian Cagigal, Suppositori Spelling, and others, benefit the Theatre Rhinoceros, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 10, $20. The Center, 1800 Market (at McCoppin), 865-5555.

Open Process Series: Fist of Roses: Campo Santo reads through Philip Kan Gotanda's new production as the audience listens and provides constructive criticism, 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 12, $5-$15. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th St.), 626-2787.

Orpheus Descending: The Jean Shelton & Kenneth Vandenberg-directed production resets the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a small, backward Southern town., 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 28; $10-$40. Actors Theatre San Francisco, 533 Sutter (at Powell), 296-9179.

Southern Lights: Lee Brady's drama looks into the romantic dalliances of famous country-and-western singers, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 8, through Saturday, July 10, $15. Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), Suite 601, 989-0023.

Things We Did Before Reality: Will Franken's new solo show involves things people did before reality set in, such as believing in a president, 11 p.m. Saturday, July 10, $10. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 826-5750.

"Water Tales": Inge Wessels and her crew of wisecracking puppets offer insights into San Francisco's maritime history, 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Aug. 15, free. Hyde Street Pier, Hyde (at Jefferson), 556-3002.

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